Mandarin Companion - Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Curly Haired Company - Simplified Chinese edition based on The Red Headed League by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. LEVEL 1 (300 unique characters).
Mr. Xie was recently hired by the Curly Haired Company. For a significant weekly allowance, he was required to sit in an office and copy articles from a book, while in the meantime his assistant looked after his shop. He had answered an advertisement in the paper and although hundreds of people applied, he was the only one selected because of his very curly hair. When the company unexpectedly closes, Mr. Xie visits Gao Ming (Sherlock Holmes) with his strange story. Gao Ming is certain something is not right, but will he solve the mystery in time?
This story is an adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1891 Sherlock Holmes story, “The Red-Headed League.” This Mandarin Companion graded reader has been adapted into a fully localized Chinese version of the original story. The characters have been given authentic Chinese names as opposed to transliterations of English names.
The location has been adapted from Victorian London, England to 1920’s Shanghai, China. During this period, Shanghai was known as “The Paris of the East, the New York of the West”. It became the focal point of many activities that would eventually shape modern China. The architectural style of many grand buildings built during this period was modeled after British and American design to suit the preferences of the influential Western businessmen. This time period of Shanghai parallels the period of Victorian London.
The original story involves a group of red-headed males however there are no native Chinese with this hair color. To suit the purposes of the story, we changed “red-headed” to “curly haired” since Chinese with curly hair are about as uncommon as red-heads are in the Western world.
The following is a list of the characters from this Chinese story followed by their corresponding English names from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Sherlock Holmes story. The names below aren’t translations; they’re new Chinese names used for the Chinese versions of the original characters. Think of them as all-new characters in a Chinese story.
- 高明 (Gāo Míng) – Sherlock Holmes
- 赵亮 (Zhào Liàng) – Doctor Watson
- 谢先生 (Xiè Xiānsheng) – Jabez Wilson
- 刘路飞 (Liú Lùfēi) – Vincent Spaulding
- 卷发公司的老板 (Juǎnfà Gōngsī de Lǎobǎn) – Duncan Ross/William Morris
- 万经理 (Wàn Jīnglǐ) – Mr. Merryweather
- 老王 (Lǎo Wáng) – Peter Jones